D66 members elect Rob Jetten as new party leader

Rob Jetten will be the new party leader of D66. A convincing majority of 93 percent of voting members backed the outgoing climate and energy minister who had no opposing candidates. This makes him the successor to outgoing party leader Sigrid Kaag.

All D66 members could apply to be a candidate for the list chair. Only Jetten received enough supporters to register to run. Members could vote for or against his candidacy. So that also means that 7 percent voted against Jetten as the new party leader.

The support “gives great energy to the campaign,” Jetten said in a statement. “We have a unique opportunity to unite the country and solve problems about which much has been said year after year, but little has been done.”

Jetten stressed in an interview with AD in July that it was “time for a new generation.” As for his motivation for wanting to be party leader again, Jetten said, “There’s a need for a new political generation to come to the helm that carries a little less of the past and tries to solve things openly and without bias” he told AD.

Party chairman Victor Everhardt said he has “great confidence” in the new party leader. “Rob is the experienced face of the new generation. He brings the new energy that the Netherlands so desperately needs.”

Previously, Jetten was the party’s parliamentary group leader. He took over that role from Alexander Pechtold, who had led the party for 12 years. Two years later, however, Jetten did not run again as party leader to make way for Sigrid Kaag. During the formation of the government, he served as her deputy, only to be named the first climate minister in history.

As an MP, Jetten has also made his mark on climate issues and continues to do so. In an interview with AD, the politician had previously expressed his desire to make the economy greener and reduce energy costs.

In The Hague, there is a major change of the guard after the fall of the Cabinet. In addition to Sigrid Kaag and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, party leader Wopke Hoekstra of the CDA, among others, has announced his retirement from politics. His successor will be announced on Monday.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times

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